Second Phase of Virginia Boating Education Law Kicks in this Summer

In 2007, the Virginia General Assembly enacted a law to establish a boating safety education requirement for Virgina boaters. The requirement for boating safety education is phased-in over several years and applies to all Personal Watercraft (PWC) operators and operators of boats with motors of 10hp and greater, according to the following schedule:

  1. PWC operators between the ages of 16 and 20 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2009, operators ages 14 or 15 may operate a PWC if they have successfully completed an approved boating education safety course;
  2. PWC operators 35 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2010;
  3. PWC operators 50 years of age or younger and motorboat operators 20 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2011;
  4. All PWC operators, regardless of age, and motorboat operators 30 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2012;
  5. Motorboat operators 40 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2013;
  6. Motorboat operators 45 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2014;
  7. Motorboat operators 50 years of age or younger shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2015;
  8. All motorboat operators,regardless of age,shall meet the requirements by July 1, 2016.

According to the Virgina DGIF, if you have taken a NASBLA approved course, you are in compliance with this regulation. Look for the NASBLA logo on your course completion certificate or wallet card.  For more information, visit the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website.

To take the boating safety course online, click here.

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